Friday, March 30, 2012

Perfect Love

I woke up this morning with the final verses of 1 John 4 on my heart. I love it when the Holy Spirit speaks directly to me. I haven't thought of or read these verses in awhile and yet, this morning I woke to the words, "perfect love drives out fear." I have had some fear this week as I look at our mountain and it's a little silly at this point. God has already moved nearly $30,000 out of the way, so one would think that the last $3,500 wouldn't make me nervous, at all. It does. It's uncomfortable to need to ask for help (again).

The only thing I know to do when I have a need is to begin to give generously to other people, to love them well and to rest in knowing that God loves me more than I love others. My problem this week has been that I have allowed my focus to shift onto our mountain. That's not where it should be. My focus should be on God and loving the ones He places in my path. Allowing Him to use me however He desires. I have never done a post like this one. I have told you all before that I don't share things here with you unless, I'm willing to participate (financially) in the need, so what I'm about to share is going to STRETCH me and STRETCH our family. I have prayed over each of these families and their fundraisers and have wanted to share them with you and so, in effort to be obedient, here we go.

First up is the Love Multiplied iPad3 Giveaway for the Spitz family to bring home their princess Lilianna. I shared this giveaway once already, but this family could really use our help. This is their third trip across the ocean to bring home a little one in two years. They need us. They're obedience and faith is humbling and I long to see this mountain moved. They're busy taking care of their family and the paperwork to get to Lilianna, let's help take care of the finances for them. Lilianna is just precious. Don't believe me, see for yourself...

Then, my friend, Julia started the Mulligan Stew, a giveaway to help too many families and kids to list. Julia began the giveaway on March 9th. I have waited patiently for payday to roll back around (we're on a once a month pay schedule) and am so excited to be able to participate in the Mulligan Stew, today! I have witnessed a miracle happen over on Julia's blog as around $30,000 has come in since March 9th! God is so faithful. He cares about the orphans. Yesterday, I read this post and was overwhelmed by the sacrifice of the Heim family. Too push back from the table and allow others to receive their fill is no small thing, especially when their family still needs $20,000+ to finish bringing home their kids. Just humbling...

Next, there are some local families who have joined us on this adoption journey. The Morton family is bringing home Sam and Duncan. Two 15 year old boys who are close to aging out of the system and becoming unavailable for adoption. They have a serious time crunch. They will most likely travel in June and need thousands of dollars to bring the boys home. They have an 8GB iPod Touch Giveaway happening. We've talked here before about how unlikely it is for older children and boys to be chosen, so the Morton family choosing Sam and Duncan is amazing. Let's rally for them and help bring these boys home.

Another local family, the Pickett's are adopting. I shared with you about how God has tied our family to theirs, but honestly the story has gotten even better. This should probably have been it's own blog post, but I'll just let you head over to Chandres' blog and read the latest part of the story...There's this BOY! My heart truly skips a beat whenever I hear of a family committing to bring home a BOY! The Pickett family isn't doing a giveaway, right now. They, along with the Mortons are organizing an event called Playing Them Home. It's going to be a fun day, filled with SOCCER (another of my favorite things) and helping bring these kids home. Check it out!

Last, but not least, my new friend, Amanda and her family have begun their adoption journey. They are bringing their babies home from Uganda and have a really fun American Girl Doll giveaway happening. Amanda is the real deal. You all will love her and she's so much fun, I almost hate to send you over to her blog. You may not come back. Seriously, they could use our help as they have committed to making this adoption journey a debt free one! Go, Amanda! Where God guides, He provides!

I know, this post has been long. I reigned myself in. There are at least two other families that come immediately to mind. I'll share them this week. Now, I have to go and do some giving. I hope you were able to plow through with me and that each of these incredible stories will bless your heart. I am blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. I love them and am thankful for the opportunity to journey with them.

"And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." 1 John 4:21

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where is the Ticker?

Some of you have noticed the ticker is gone from the top of the blog. It's coming back. I wish it was gone because we are funded, but that is not the case. It is gone because I needed to re-work the numbers. Plane tickets are more than I originally planned and I thought we owed our agency $5,800 for our last installment, turns out we owed them $6,250. Not a huge deal, but every dollar adds up, quickly.

So, what do we do? We drag our mountain back into the presence of the Lord where we believe it will melt like wax. Will you help us pray? Pray and share our need. That God would speak to hearts and help bring our boys home. We have court on April 10th and expect to travel just a couple of weeks later.

We find ourselves still needing $3,500, about $2,000 more than the original ticker showed. We're just going to start again with a new ticker. The LAST one! When it's full we'll be done. Praise God! The end is in sight. As humbling as it is to ask for help, again. We need you. We can't do it without your help.

Thank you to each one who has already given sacrificially. Do you want to know how much we will have raised when it's all said and done? I think you'd be amazed at how big this mountain actually was. We've been chipping away for a year, now, and while I would have loved for God to just move it all at once, it has been a blessing each time another stone was kicked over. Every time one of you gave and another piece of the mountain fell our hearts have been encouraged. You inspire us to give more generously and to love more freely.

Thank you!

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blog Hopping!

Well, I've never been a part of a blog hop before, but I'm excited about this one. It's all adopting families, so if your an adoption junkie (you know who you are) this is just the blog hop for you! I can't wait to read new stories and make new friends. I hope you have fun checking out the other blogs and I hope you find new journeys to follow and families to encourage. You all are some of the best encouragers, I know!

Here's how this works, at the bottom of this post will be pictures with links to other adopting families blogs. Please, read their stories, leave them a comment and follow along.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Go Blog Hopping!

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Confession

I'm going to write this post, but I don't know if I'm brave enough to share it. We'll see...

In November, we met Joseph for the first time. Many of you watched the video and commented about how calm I looked. I was not. I strive to be real here. I don't want anyone to walk into the doors of an orphanage and feel the way that I felt and think they are alone, because I was too afraid to be honest.

We knew what we were walking into. We had videos, first hand reports from families who had met our boy. We had read the medical reports. I knew, he was going to be tiny. I knew, he was severely delayed. I knew, the report included the diagnosis of autism. I've cared for enough children to know what that means, in regards to giving and receiving affection, but nothing, NOTHING prepares you for that moment. The moment when they hand you a child, your child, who has been broken by all that life has handed him.

Here's the TRUTH. I wanted to hand Joseph back and run out the door. My first thought, when I saw our precious boy was, "What have we done? I can't parent this child." You know what? I can't parent Joseph. The Jesus that lives, moves and breathes on the inside of me will empower and equip me to be Joseph's Mommy. It's not my job to heal all those broken pieces, but to love Joseph well, to show him Jesus. Please, don't misunderstand me. I love Joseph. He IS my son. April 10th will be a beautiful day when our family gains two new sons, but I needed to tell you the truth.

It was a totally different emotion I felt five days later when I had to walk Joseph back down that long hall and hand him over to his caregiver (I had to, because I'm not sure Marty could have). My heart broke and it hasn't been the same since that day. It's amazing to me now. God proved Himself strong in my weakness. I didn't hand Joseph back and run out the door. I finished that first visit. I cried out to God. While I tried to process what I was seeing, our sweet six year old, trapped inside a toddler's body. I smiled and held my boy and loved on him, even though I was terrified.

I got back to the hotel room and looked at Marty prepared for the worst. Only to have him say, "He's our boy!" He was so excited. I spent the couple of hours we had in between visits praying and reading my Word, allowing my faith to rise up. By the end of our afternoon visit I knew Satan had tried to use my fear against me. He would have loved for me to look at Marty and say, "This is too much. We can't do this." and walk away from Joseph.

What a tragedy that would have been. How sad my heart would be, if I had to look back, now, days away from court and realize that I had let go of one of my sons. Why am I sharing this? I simply want to tell you, that you are human. I am human and only the Jesus on the inside of us gives us strength and wisdom to do the really hard things in life. I'm hear to tell you that JOY comes from obedience. God told us, Joseph was our son, I'm so glad we walked where He called. Thankful that both our boys are coming home and that ultimately, "Love Wins!" (So take that Satan!)

I didn't share this for fear of judgement. I don't know why I allowed Satan to put me under a yoke of condemnation. I won't walk that way. I won't live that way. God has set me free. He is my judge and my advocate. Please, know I don't share this lightly, but in the hopes of encouraging someone else on this difficult journey.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Love Multiplied Giveaway

You all know by now that I cannot miss a chance to be a part of a God story or to share it with you and let you be a part, too. For the past week or so, I've been working (well, my friends have done most of the work) with some other Reece's Rainbow advocates on something BIG! I'm so excited to finally be able to share it with you!

It's a sweet story of an orphan girl, who's finally going to become the Princess that God created her to be. Her life has already resulted in the rescue of two other orphans. The best part is those orphans-no-more will be her sister and brother, when she comes home. It's a HUGE thing for a family to commit and adopt 3 orphans in 2 years, but that's exactly what the Spitz Family is doing. We've promised to help them, as they follow God in bringing home their Princess Lilianna.

We've organized a great giveaway, with a TON of prizes and it's being hosted on my friend, Colleen's blog. So head on over, read Lilianna's full story and check out how you can help. There's an iPad, some gift cards and some other great prizes.

We're calling it the Love Multiplied Giveaway! The love for Lilianna has already multiplied and resulted in her family bringing home two other children. Let's see if we can multiply our love for their family and their FAITHfulness to this one child and raise $15,000!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Let's bring Lilianna HOME!

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Celebrating WDSD!

We just really have good people in our lives. Over the past few weeks, we've watched as our grant grows, day by day, dollar by dollar. $10 here, $20 there, more frequently than it ever grew during a giveaway or fundraiser. God is FAITHFUL. His people are FAITHFUL. I have no idea how to respond anymore to the overwhelming support that you all continue to show our family. It is the most humbling and remarkable thing I have ever been a part of.

"Thank you," seems inadequate, but it's truly all I have to offer. If you haven't looked up lately, check out our ticker, we're getting so close! God is handling the giant! He's doing it because He's faithful. Julie brought home a paper from Church recently. It said God is FAITHFUL, that means He ALWAYS keeps His promises. Isn't it fun to serve a God who ALWAYS keeps His promises. I think about how often I fail the people I love and I'm thankful that God never fails.

Thank you for being His hands and feet to our family.

Today, we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day! We celebrate the fact that our boys were born with one extra copy of their 21st chromosomes and because of that 1 little chromosome, God is allowing them to become our sons. We have a lot to celebrate this 3-21! We also have a lot more to accomplish. There are still so many children who wait to be celebrated. If you don't do anything else to recognize World Down Syndrome Day, would you head over to Reece's Rainbow and check out the kids who are still waiting to be chosen. The ones who long to be celebrated. Next year, you could have your own extra chromosomes to celebrate!

Maybe Brent could be your reason to celebrate! Your long lost son, waiting on the other side of the ocean.

Or how about Mitko? He's waited a long time to be celebrated, chosen, adopted...

Or maybe Tanner? Tanner has a lot of cards stacked against him. His age, his hearing loss, his extra chromosome, but I know, God has a family, who's been waiting for a son, like Tanner, to CELEBRATE!

There are so many more. All waiting to be chosen. I know, you love them, because you love Jesus, if you didn't you wouldn't be so good to our family. Will you share their pictures and their stories and ask God if He is wanting you to CELEBRATE life with one of these precious littles?

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Highest Calling

What is our highest calling? According to Jesus it is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." and "Love your neighbor as yourself."

The words of Jesus bring two pressing questions to my mind, "Who are we loving?" and "How are we loving them?" Do we love God? Sure. Most of this country professes Christianity, we believe in God, we love God, but do we really love HIM? Are we loving Him with ALL of our heart, soul and mind? I don't think we are. What would the world we live in look like if we were loving God the way He's called us to love Him? We were created to love, worship and serve our Creator. I know, that's not popular in some circles, but it is ABSOLUTE TRUTH! Here's what our love should look like...

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Ephesians 5:1-2

Love like that. What does that look like? It's a love that spends itself for the least of these. A love that sheds tears and blood, that spends it's money, it's time, it's talent, it's rest on behalf of the defenseless, the widow, the orphan. A love that's extravagant, it's not just giving a little bit of ourselves, but spending our lives in service to God. I'm tired of walking on the edges of love, of just getting my feet wet. I want to love like Jesus. I want to be extravagant in my giving, sharing, loving. I want to walk in my highest calling.

Do you want to walk with me? Will you walk with me? I'm going. I'm going to walk wherever He leads. I'm going to love whoever He places in my path. I may even seek them out. I'm going to give until it hurts. I'm going to make much of Jesus. I'm going to shine a light that points to the love of Jesus. For the King and His glory, I'm going to Do Something and I'm not going to stop when it gets hard.

No turning back...

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Anticipating Spring

I feel like I owe you all a post. Have you missed me? This is a busy time of year around our house. Soccer season for Eli is kicking into full gear and Julie's gymnastics is full swing ahead. Add into that the news that two little ones will be joining our crew in a few weeks and well, life is busy.

I love this time of year, when Spring is trying to come and the earth is giving new life. I expect to get a lot done in the next few weeks having spring fever to accompany my "nesting." Yes, adoptive Moms nest. Now, that the date is set for court, I have the overwhelming urge to have everything in it's place, clean and sparkling. New life...

Joseph and Samuel are about to enter into a new life with our family. We're praying that God is preparing their hearts. We're believing that HOPE is springing to LIFE inside of them, even now. We're also praying that God is preparing our hearts and our home to receive them with grace and to give them everything they need.

We are looking forward with great anticipation to the day when we spring the boys and bring them home. Home to a new season, home to a new life.

My heart is full of gratitude to each of you, who has joined us on this journey and continues to lift us up in prayer. Thank you for doing something, it matters to us and to our boys.

Anticipating Spring,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bernadette has a FAMILY!

Bernadette is on the My Family Found Me page of Reece's Rainbow! I can't wait to tell you who her family is because they are amazing! Bernadette is going to be one blessed young lady. It's another one of those God stories. Aren't they all? If we look closely enough we see HIM everywhere, but for today, it's enough just to PRAISE Him for finding Bernadette a family!

Praising Him, tonight!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My JOY has been restored!

We have a court date! April 10th, 2012 will be the day that Joseph and Samuel become a part of the Rhodes' family FOREVER! It means the boys won't be home until May, but the end is here. Our dates are set! We are rejoicing that very soon our boys will be HOME!

Thank you for each one who has prayed and continues to lift our family up before the throne of grace. Thank you for being gracious with me, when I have been a mess these past few weeks. Thank you for loving us and our boys!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weary in my soul

I try to be real here...

I am tired, weary in my soul. I have a longing for my sons like you just wouldn't believe. Each day that passes, the hope that I will be with Joseph on his 7th birthday passes quietly with it. I know, it will be over soon. They will be home and my arms and my hands will be full, but it's not ENOUGH for this Mama's heart. 

7 birthdays is too many to spend without being a part of a family. My heart aches for my boys. Eli, Julie and I were talking about the boys on the way home tonight and Eli said, "He'll get to be the boy he was always meant to be." He was talking about his brother, the one, who is not everything God created him to be. The one, who has spent years and years alone and lonely. My heart cries, that it's not ENOUGH. 

God, hear my heart's cry. Let your grace wash over me, anew. Meet me in this place of not knowing the whys, of not loving the timing. Find me here in this place of discontent, longing for MORE. Hold me together and let new mercies greet me tomorrow. It's not always pretty, but it's real.

The promise is beauty for ashes, but to find the beauty, we must first be refined by the fire. The fire is not fun, the process is painful, but JOY comes in the morning. 

Until tomorrow,

Friday, March 9, 2012

Autumn's First Choice Children

I am always amazed by the people God has brought into our lives on this adoption journey. Possibly one of the most amazing women, I've run across to date is Autumn. I don't know Autumn very well, but I want to share what I do know about her with you and then, I'm going to ask you to dig deep and help this young Mom bring her First Choice Children home!

Why do I think Autumn deserves our help? I'll tell you. Autumn is a young, single woman, who is choosing to answer the call to care for the orphan. Autumn has supported children through Compassion International, since she received her first paycheck as a young adult. Compassion is near and dear to our hearts, too. We've sponsored a child through them for the past 4 and 1/2 years. If you're looking for a way to be involved in orphan care, this is a great way to help.

Autumn is also serving our country in the US Air Force. I know, I have some military families reading my blog. If you serve in the military your job doesn't really dictate your pay. So, even though Autumn is a doctor, she's not receiving anything close to the pay she would receive as a civilian doctor. I have thoughts on this subject, but that's another blog post, entirely. Aside from wanting to help with the orphan crisis, I believe that helping Autumn is a tangible way of saying, "Thank you for your service." I believe that there are many people like myself, who look for ways to bless a military family for their service and sacrifice, here's a way we can do just that.

A little over a year ago, Autumn committed to bringing home her children. She committed to becoming a single Mom to two beautiful kids. She chose adoption first! That is a beautiful thing, friends, and because of her choice, two precious children are coming home to their forever family.

She has walked this path on her own, until now. Somehow, we all missed Autumn's need until recently. God impressed on my heart the need to contact Autumn and ask about her funding. It turns out she's not fully funded and she could use our help. She is scheduled to travel in a few short weeks to pick up her kids.

We started a 1 of 100 facebook event for Autumn, asking for 100 people to give a gift of $25 to Autumn and her first choice children. Will you join us in helping Autumn bring her kids home? You can go to the event and invite your friends. You can share this post on your facebook wall or blog. You can go here to Autumn's Family Sponsorship Page on Reece's Rainbow and give a gift.

All I ask is that you do what you CAN!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

A God Appointment Continued...

Don't miss the first part of this story here.

So, there I was, middle of the night, ready to turn in when the enormity of what had occurred during our dinner conversation hit me. Yes, God I am impressed! Only God could orchestrate the conversation that took place and we almost missed it. I got right back up and messaged Susie on facebook. My message said this:

Nydia and I had a God appointment tonight on your behalf. My friend, Shelby is going to Jeremiah's orphanage on a missions trip this summer. That's right, my friend, Shelby, who just decided that she wanted to go on a missions trip and arranged all the details herself is going to Jeremiah's home this September. Would you like me to put you in contact with her? They have 6 people committed to going on this trip and 10 slots available. I wonder, if we know anyone who would like to go....hmmm...

Of course, Susie wanted to be put in touch with Shelby. I'm not sure why I even asked. I messaged them both and am happy to say that these two beautiful, Godly women will be spending a week together, this summer, on the mission field of Haiti. I can't wait to hear the reports from this trip. I am so blessed to know these two women and am excited to see how God is going to use them to bless the people of Haiti.

Are you amazed at the great lengths God continues to go to on behalf of the Fatherless? He didn't "just" find a family for Jeremiah. He crossed the threads of our lives to weave a beautiful tapestry for Jeremiah. Another part of his story that his Mom will share with him one day. It will be another reminder to Jeremiah that God loves him, has always loved him and that not a day has gone by that God wasn't working things out for the good of Jeremiah.

The lesson I hope to share from this story: Keep your eyes open, stay alert, don't miss the God moments, because you're too tied up in the "noise" of life. He's often a still, small voice, whispering love stories for the ones who are paying attention, for the ones who are looking for His hand. Look for Him, today. If you want to be a part of a miracle, love an orphan.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support.

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A God Appointment

I'm going to begin to tell the story, now. If you missed our Cast of Characters, be sure to read that first.

Once a month, I find myself in a restaurant surrounded by some of the most amazing women, I know. It's our Mom's night out. The conversation is always fun and we leave better than we came. Encouraged, uplifted, joyful and usually pretty tired. We like to pretend we're younger than we are and attempt to close the restaurant down.

This month was the first month my friend, Shelby joined us. I don't know how it happened that I didn't think to invite Shelby until this month, but I guess it never came up. My other Mom friend, Nydia (who's in the morning chat group with Susie and I) was also there. I knew from our conversations at gymnastics that Shelby was planning a missions trip this summer to Haiti. Here's how the conversation at the gym went when she first told me...

Shelby: "I've decided to plan a summer missions trip to Haiti."

Me: "Really! Have you ever been on a missions trip and do you have a contact in Haiti?"

Shelby: "Nope. I just want to go to Haiti, so I sent out some emails and I'm working with the one that responded."

Me: "Wow, Shelby that's great!"

See, what kind of amazing person Shelby is? No, waiting around for someone else to do things for her. God said, "Go to Haiti this summer, Shelby." So, off to Haiti, Shelby will go. I said at the time, "I have a friend who is adopting a little boy from Haiti." End of conversation.

Last night, after dessert (yes, we do have dessert, it's one night a month, ya'll) I asked Shelby how the mission trip plans were coming. She began to tell us how she had 6 people committed, but had room for 10. I asked her what type of place they would be working in an orphanage, church, hospital, etc. Shelby begins to describe the place they're going. It's not an orphanage, they mostly work to help children get better and return them to their parents, but sometimes children become available for adoption.

Then, she says it. The name of the place and Nydia and I immediately looked at one another and said, "That's where Susie's son is living!" That's right! We were in the middle of a God appointment. Just like that our evening had gone from a time of fellowship and fun to a moment that God had been orchestrating for months. Remember I didn't know either of these women 1 year ago and now, I was about to have an opportunity to be used by God to cross the threads of their stories.

Unfortunately, we almost missed it. We continued on with our conversation like what had just occurred was not all that unusual. I drove home and as I lay down to go to sleep, I clearly heard God say, "Are you really not impressed?"

And, that's where I'll leave you, for now. In my middle of the night encounter with God.

To be continued...

Hidden in Christ,

Cast of Characters

I want to tell you all another God story, but I feel it necessary to introduce the cast of characters in our story first...

You all know me, already. I'm just a small piece of this story and I almost missed the awesomeness of God in the moment and the orchestration involved (on His part) in bringing us to the moment. I know, you're not surprised, I'm a little slow, sometimes, but it did come to me, eventually.

First up, my friend, Susie. How did I meet Susie? (I know, you're thinking who cares? It's relevant, so hang with me.) I had a lady named Gail message me on facebook and share a story with me about another adopting family. Gail knew that we would be good friends and I'm thankful that she didn't hesitate and made the introductions. Gail started a facebook group with Susie, another Mom, Nydia, myself and her and we have become great friends. We start our days together with a morning chat session and I am blessed by their friendship. This has been our routine, since late summer.

Susie had adopted before, but she lives about 4 hours away in NC, so we've never met face to face. Susie began to follow our adoption story, which led to her checking out the waiting children on Reece's Rainbow. She stumbled upon this beautiful boy...

This is Jeremiah. He stole Susie's heart and since they weren't looking to adopt a third time, they became his advocate. Within weeks God had directed them to bring Jeremiah home, too. So, in November the Townsend Family committed to bringing Jeremiah home. Since then they've completed a  home study, prepared a dossier and become fully funded. How good is God?

An adoption from Jeremiah's country can take a long time, minimum 18 months, sometimes dragging on as long as 3 years. We're praying for 18 months. Now, you know Susie and the thread that God has been weaving since late summer when our stories crossed paths.

Next up is my friend, Shelby. I met Shelby at Julie's gymnastic's class. Her son has class on Wednesdays at the same time Julie has class, so we began to talk. Shelby is a pastor's wife, an adoptive Mom, a foster Mom, she's in the process of adopting from foster care, currently. I met Shelby in September and I love Shelby. She's one of those people that is full of JOY, no matter her circumstances. She's the foster Mom, you wish every child in foster care was blessed to have. We have become great friends as we share the joys and struggles of our adoption journeys. Our threads crossed and Shelby has become a cherished friend.

Now, you have the cast of characters...a few Moms doing our best to follow where God leads. I know, you're looking for the connecting thread, but you'll just have to wait. It's too good to rush through.

The stage is set and I hope you'll come back for the rest of the story...

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holding Pattern

So, some of you know that Marty was in the Navy for awhile, but what you may or may not know is that he was an air traffic controller. I don't know much about controlling air traffic, myself, but I am familiar with a holding pattern. A holding pattern, usually takes the form of a holding fix, where an aircraft travels through designated airspace in a continuous loop, while waiting for it's turn to land. This is where I currently find my a holding pattern.

We are waiting and I am becoming more and more useless as the days pass. I don't want to blog. I don't want to go out, because going out inevitably means answering the question, "When are the boys coming home?" To which I must respond, "I don't know. We're waiting on a court date." We are in the ultimate holding pattern of our adoption process. Waiting for the go ahead to land the jet.

According to the Wik*pedia powers that be, "Aircraft flying in circles is an inefficient (and hence costly) usage of time and fuel..." I'm trying not to become an inefficient waste of time and energy. I'm trying not to check my email every five thirty minutes. I'm trying to teach my kids and get them through as much of the school year as possible and all the while Satan is throwing missiles at my jet.

I've mentioned before that with adoption comes Spiritual Warfare, but since we've entered our holding pattern, this has become even more real. I am doing my best to cling to Jesus, to trust in God's perfect timing, to keep moving forward, but honestly, I could use some prayers. Will you pray for our holding pattern to end? I'm asking for totally selfish reasons. Simply put, I long to hold my sons. I long to breath them in and hold them close and know that they are safe and well.

We're so close, please, pray.

Hidden in Christ,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunshine Girl Giveaway WINNER!

I know, all good things must come to an end. It's sad, but true. Bernadette's grant has grown tremendously these past two weeks! It's amazing to watch God work! When we started Bernadette's grant was sitting at $372 and today it has $10,028! Of course, our little giveaway didn't bring in all that money. There have been many others hollering with us for Bernadette.

I had just as many entries from people sharing about Bernadette as I did people giving, so that's amazing! It means we're closer to finding Bernadette's family. Keep sharing. Keep praying. Keep doing SOMETHING!

So, the winner was number 74, chosen by and my handy dandy notebook says, number 74 is Jill S. I took pictures to document this, but they are very blurry, low quality, so I'm not posting them here. I do have them, if anyone needs to see them.

I hope you all have enjoyed watching Bernadette's mountain melt. Will you keep dragging it into the presence of the Lord with me? I feel like she'll have a family soon and it will be thanks to each of you, who has chosen to "mind the gap" for Bernadette.


Thursday, March 1, 2012


Our Sunshine Girl is at $10,000 in her grant! She had $372, when we started the giveaway 12 days ago. Isn't God great! He loves this sweet orphan girl and He wants to see her in a family. She's halfway to a full grant. Will you please help us push hard these last two days of the giveaway and raise her grant. Pray, pray, pray that Bernadette's Mom and Dad will see her beautiful smile and know that she is meant to come home to them.

The Giveaway is here and you could win a Kindle Fire by simply sharing it on your facebook wall! Do what you CAN! You CAN share! It doesn't cost a thing and it may be your post that leads Bernadette's family to her.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,